Venturing into the Cain’s this past Saturday night, I was surprised to see the room less full than I imagined. On this night it was hard to tell if it was the cold weather keeping people away or the usual occurrence of Cain’s attendees skip out on the opener. In this case, missing out on the opener was a shame as BC & The Big Rig, a local band I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a few times, opened the show for Shane Smith & The Saints. They’ve opened for some big acts and when watching them on stage, it’s obvious to see why they’re a favorite choice as an opening band. They’ve got a knack for pumping up the crowd with their energetic brand of self-described “Americana rock and roll”. Included in their set were some of their staple songs, including “Pennies” “100 Miles to Memphis” and “Get on With the Show”.
Shane Smith & The Saints are a Texas band and are based out of Austin, but make stops in Oklahoma several times a year. Somehow I’ve managed to miss their last few shows, but vowed I was going to make it to this one. The harmonies alone from this group would be worth the price of a ticket, but once you add in their energetic stage antics, well-crafted songs to the mix and the unique voice of Shane Smith, you’re looking at one of the best tickets in the Americana/Red-Dirt genre. Made up of Shane Smith on vocals, harmonica and acoustic guitar, Tim Allen on lead guitar and vocals, Bennett Brown on fiddle and vocals, Chase Satterwhite on bass guitar and vocals and Zach Stover on drums this group has been together for awhile and it shows, both in their harmonies and in their tight sound. Coming out on stage in a blue Tulsa shirt and a New Orleans baseball cap, Shane Smith took it to a level 10 right out of the gate. Opening with “Mountain” off of their second album, Geronimo, the crowd was invested from the beginning and the sing- a- longs would continue throughout the rest of the set. “Mountain” was followed by “Hurricane” one of two songs released several months ago on Spotify. The other song released on Spotify, “Mountain Girl” would follow later in the set. Crowd favorites, “All I See is You” and “New Orleans” were followed by “Whirlwind” and “Feather in the Wind”. The band’s setlist combined hits from both of their albums, Geronimo and Coast and those in attenance were also treated to a few new songs like “Little Bird” and “Hail Mary” which is the title track of the new album, due out in April. The most goosebump inducing moment from the night came with the cover of “Seven Bridges Road”. The harmonies on that song were downright amazing and Bennett’s fiddle playing added an extra special something that made me question if the Eagles version of the song was even my favorite anymore.
I’m already a fan of the first two albums that Shane Smith & The Saints put out and I’m eagerly awaiting Hail Mary once its released. Seeing them live just reinforced my previous notions that they were one of the best bands in the genre and I’ll be trying to catch them anytime they are within the region from now on. Although the band primarily plays in Texas, they’re out on the road this spring and summer and you’ll be doing yourself a solid if you catch them at one of their shows.
You can find their upcoming tour schedule here: http://www.shanesmithmusic.com/tour/